cheesy goodness

October 8, 2006

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The peak of fall is gone, the freezer is full of salmon. The tundra on the mountains has gone gold and red, and there’s the smell of gentle decay in the woods. It’s the very end of fall for us, and snow is in the air already. In a land with such sharp and sometimes regrettably fast turns of the seasons, the menu must change accordingly. The lighter fare of the long summer light gives way to fluffy bowls of creamed Yukon Golds, slabs of meat for the grill or broiler, and rich cream sauces over pasta. For us these things mark the change of the calendar as surely as do the V formations of the geese flying overheard and the spawned salmon littering the gravel bars and stream beds. This fall has been a hectic one, working long hours in the field, playing with good friends in the wild places, saying goodbye to old partners, and getting ready for the long dark ahead. We settled in one blustery night last week for some serious comfort food. Seared ribeyes with real macaroni and cheese in individual crocks, so everyone gets their own share of the crispy edges…

mac n’ cheese
3 cups large elbow macaroni
3 tbs butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 cups milk
1 tsp mustard
pinch of nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere
1/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Boil macaroni in until just tender. Drain and rinse under cold water and set aside. Over medium heat melt 2 tablespoons butter in large saucepan. Mix in the flour and cook for about a minute as though making a roux. Slowly whisk in the milk, mustard, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, whisking continuously. Boil for about a minute and remove from heat. Blend in cheeses in small amounts until the mixture is melted and smooth. Stir in drained macaroni, and pour into a shallow baking dish (or a few ramekins). Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter, stir in bread crumbs, sauté them till they brown and crisp. Sprinkle over the macaroni and bake 20 minutes or until it starts to get brown and gooey on top. Let stand a few minutes before serving. Makes a bunch.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 The County Clerk October 11, 2006 at

Now this is the kind of food I can into. Pizza. Mac and Cheese. Excellent.

(Tangent: I used to have a wonderful cairn terrier named Mr. MacGreggor. I called him mac. Actually, i called him all sorts of things. Anyway, my wife and I had, for awhile, a tom cat who seemed to “live” with us (when he wanted). My wife named him Gruyere. Mac loved Gruyere. Together, i called them “Mac & Cheese.”

Nice memory. Nice post.

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